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Douglas Kronaizl

Douglas Kronaizl is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Marshall defeats Kobach in Kansas’ Republican primary for U.S. Senate

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall defeated former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, plumber Bob Hamilton, and eight others in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Kansas. As of 9:25 p.m. Central Time, Marshall had received 37% of the vote followed by Kobach and Hamilton with 26% and 20%, respectively. No other candidate received over 10% of the vote.
During the primary, Marshall said he had a record of accomplishments in the House including sitting on the Agriculture Committee, ensuring that protections for crop insurance were included in the Farm Bill, and passing a bill to reduce tax rates.
Since July 15, the Sunflower State super PAC has spent over $4 million worth of satellite spending in the primary principally supporting Kobach. Media outlets wrote that the group had Democratic connections, and Politico reported that one of the group’s ads was “engineered to drive conservative voters towards Kobach.”


Previewing Missouri’s 1st Congressional District Democratic primary

Incumbent William Lacy Clay, Katherine Bruckner, and Cori Bush are running in the Aug. 4 Democratic Party primary in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Bush challenged Clay in the district’s 2018 Democratic primary, which Clay won, receiving 57% of the vote to Bush’s 37%.

Clay was first elected in 2000, replacing his father, former Rep. William Lacy Clay, Sr. (D). Clay Jr. served in the Missouri State Legislature from 1983 to 2001. He received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In their endorsement, the Post-Dispatch’s editorial board wrote, “[Clay] has been a steady, predictable representative and a reliable vote for mainstream Democratic priorities — including the fight against poverty and for social justice.”

Bush is a nurse and civil rights organizer who was involved with demonstrations in Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown by police. She received endorsements from U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jamaal Bowman (D), a candidate in New York’s 16th District who defeated 16-term incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel (D) in the district’s June 23 primary. In his endorsement, Bowman said, “Bush understands the struggles facing her communities, because she’s lived them herself … She will fight to confront racist and reckless policing … and I’m proud to support her grassroots campaign.”

Pre-primary reports show Clay raising $744,000 and Bush with $569,000. At this same point in the 2018 primary, Clay had raised $407,000 compared to Bush’s $139,000.

Clay and his father have represented the 1st District since 1969. Three race-tracking outlets rate the district as Solid/Safe Democratic. The winner of the primary will face Libertarian Alex Furman and the winner of the Republican primary, either Winnie Heartstrong or Anthony Rogers, in the general election.



12,274 major party candidates filed for 2020 state legislative elections

On November 3, 2020, 5,875 state legislative seats are up for regular election across 86 chambers in 44 states. This includes 1,164 state senate seats and 4,711 state house seats.
As of July 16, we’ve collected post-filing deadline data in 43 states. In 2020, 5,824 state legislative seats are up for regular election in those states, compared to 5,691 in 2018.
12,274 major party candidates—6,210 Democrats and 6,064 Republicans—have filed to run for state legislature in these states. This compares to 12,442—6,526 Democrats and 5,916 Republicans—in 2018.
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Elections in open seats tend to be more competitive than those where an incumbent is seeking re-election. So far, there are fewer open seats in 2020 than in 2018. In 2020, 871 major party incumbents (15% of seats up for election) are not running for re-election, compared to 1,078 major party incumbents (19%) in 2018.
More incumbents face primary challenges in 2020 than in 2018. So far in 2020, 999 major party incumbents face primary challengers. In 2018, 909 major party incumbents faced primary challenges. In 2018, 86% of incumbents in these states won their primaries.
Overall, there are fewer contested state legislative primaries in 2020 than in 2018, with 1,864 and 1,984, respectively. These totals include all competitive partisan, top-two and nonpartisan primaries.
Currently, there is a Republican majority in 52 chambers, a Democratic majority in 33, and a power-sharing agreement in the Alaska House.


Texas Sen. Lucio wins Democratic primary runoff against Stapleton-Barrera

On July 14, incumbent Texas Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-27) defeated challenger Sara Stapleton-Barrera (D) in Senate District 27’s Democratic primary runoff. Lucio received 54 percent of the vote to Stapleton-Barrera’s 46 percent.
The runoff in District 27 received media attention after Planned Parenthood Texas, which endorsed Stapleton-Barrera, created a website and other materials opposing Lucio. One ad said, “For 30 years, Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. has done the dirty work of extremist politicians like Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott.” The Dallas Morning News’ Allie Morris wrote, “A devout Catholic, [Sen. Lucio] is often the lone Democrat to side with ruling Republicans on contentious social issues, including abortion.”
In a press release from Lucio’s campaign, his son, Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-38) said, “These big special-interests groups from outside our border community should comprehend the deeper connotations behind the word ‘sucio’ (‘dirty Mexican’) and the association with a person of Hispanic descent.”
District 27 is located south of Corpus Christi along the Gulf Coast and includes communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Roughly 89 percent of the district’s population are Hispanic.
In total, 16 Senate seats were up for election this year. Two incumbents—Lucio and Sen. Borris Miles (D-13)—faced primary challengers, down from the seven incumbents challenged in 2018. Miles received 55 percent of the vote on March 3, defeating two challengers and avoiding a runoff.
With both incumbents winning their respective primaries, no Senators were defeated in Texas’ primary elections this year. The most recent year an incumbent Senator was defeated in a primary was 2014 when Republican Sens. John Carona and Bob Deuell lost to challengers. No incumbent Democratic Senator has been defeated in a primary since 2006.


Freitas wins Republican nomination at Virginia’s 7th Congressional District convention

Nick Freitas defeated John McGuire and four other candidates in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District’s July 18 Republican primary convention. After the third and final round of voting, Freitas received 56 percent of the delegate vote to McGuire’s 44 percent.
Freitas led in fundraising during the primary with $1,031,000 according to June 28 campaign finance reports. McGuire followed with $670,000. Freitas was also supported by Club for Growth, which spent roughly $300,000 supporting his candidacy.
Freitas will face incumbent Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-07) in the general election. She was first elected in 2018, defeating incumbent David Brat (R) by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent.
The 7th Congressional District one of 30 U.S. House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Donald Trump (R) in 2016. During the presidential election, Trump received 51 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 44 percent in the 7th District.


Imam defeats Eady Mann in Texas’ 31st Congressional District Democratic primary runoff

Donna Imam defeated Christine Eady Mann in the Democratic primary runoff for Texas’ 31st Congressional District. Imam received 57% of the vote to Eady Mann’s 43%.

Imam, a computer engineer, received an endorsement from former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), who said, “Imam is one of the most solutions-oriented candidates I’ve ever spoken to, which is no surprise as she’s an engineer and entrepreneur.”

Imam will face incumbent Rep. John Carter (R) in the general election. Carter has represented the 31st District since its creation in 2003. He most recently won re-election in 2018 over M.J. Hegar (D), receiving 51 percent of the vote to Hegar’s 48 percent, the first time a Democratic candidate had won over 40 percent of the vote in the district.


Carl defeats Hightower in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary runoff

Jerry Carl defeated Bill Hightower in the Republican primary for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. Carl received 52% of the vote to Hightower’s 48%.

Alabama Daily News’ Todd Stacy described the race as “a battle between the activist and business wings of the Republican Party.” Carl received endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the outgoing incumbent Rep. Bradly Byrne (R). Hightower received endorsements from the National Right to Life and Club for Growth, which spent over $1 million in the race primarily opposing Carl.


Gideon wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Maine

Sara Gideon defeated Betsy Sweet and Bre Kidman in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Maine. As of 11:15 a.m. Eastern Time on July 15, Gideon had received 70% of the vote followed by Sweet and Kidman with 23% and 7% of the vote, respectively, with 88% of precincts reporting.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senate Democrats’ official campaign arm, endorsed Gideon. According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, she had raised $23,001,088, more than all but four other Senate candidates across the country so far in 2020.

Gideon will face incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R) in the general election. Collins is one of two incumbent Republican senators running for re-election in a state that Hillary Clinton (D) won during the 2016 presidential election. Clinton received 48% of the vote in Maine to Donald Trump’s (R) 45%.


Garza defeats incumbent Moore in Travis County, Texas, District Attorney runoff

José Garza defeated incumbent Margaret Moore in the Democratic primary runoff for Travis County District Attorney in Texas. Garza received 68% of the vote to Moore’s 32%.

The race attracted national attention after Garza received endorsements from U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Moore was endorsed by the Austin American-Statesman and Austin Mayor Stephen Adler (D).


11,715 major party candidates filed for 2020 state legislative elections

On November 3, 2020, 5,875 state legislative seats are up for regular election across 86 chambers in 44 states. This includes 1,164 state senate seats and 4,711 state house seats.

As of July 9, we’ve collected post-filing deadline data in 41 states. In 2020, 5,524 state legislative seats are up for regular election in those states, compared to 5,391 in 2018.

11,715 major party candidates—5,866 Democrats and 5,849 Republicans—have filed to run for state legislature in these states. This compares to 11,878—6,186 Democrats and 5,692 Republicans—in 2018.

Elections in open seats tend to be more competitive than those where an incumbent is seeking re-election. So far, there are fewer open seats in 2020 than in 2018. In 2020, 847 major party incumbents (15% of seats up for election) are not running for re-election, compared to 1,027 major party incumbents (19%) in 2018.

More incumbents face primary challenges in 2020 than in 2018. So far in 2020, 973 major party incumbents face primary challengers. In 2018, 884 major party incumbents faced primary challenges. In 2018, 86% of incumbents in these states won their primaries.

Overall, there are fewer contested state legislative primaries in 2020 than in 2018, with 1,813 and 1,928, respectively. These totals include all competitive partisan, top-two and nonpartisan primaries.

Currently, there is a Republican majority in 52 chambers, a Democratic majority in 33, and a power sharing agreement in the Alaska House.

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